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Safehands group

Call: 01242 505 400  Or  Email us

Candidate Advice

Job Hunting: It’s all in the planning

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the shape of the job market.  Remote and flexible working opportunities have increased, interviewing and onboarding have turned into a remote/off-site experience, job vacancies are at an all-time high and perhaps most importantly, the market is mainly candidate-led.  So, now is the time to get your ‘eyes down’, roll the dice and scan those job pages for your next employment adventure!

As the UK’s fastest-growing, privately-owned multisector recruitment agency, we appreciate how daunting it can be to job hunt at any time, let alone following the most extraordinary 18 months we’ll hopefully ever experience in our lifetimes. We’re here to guide you and have compiled some top tips to help you on your way in our 6 part ‘The Ultimate Job Guide’.

In Part 1, we took a moment to think about true career paths, stop, take time out and reconsider where you are and where you’re going. We touched on skills you’ve already learned in the workplace, reflecting on those outside of work, courses, hobbies, sports volunteer work, internships, and freelance work.

We looked at transferable skills that you can use to change your path to help you review how jobs you apply for might fit your skill set and what type of culture might suit you best.

The candidates that stand out are the ones that are seen as driven and put in the extra effort to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by being diligent with your job hunting process and organised; it will show that you are passionate about the job you’re applying for.


We, humans, love structure, so before you plough ahead chucking CVs here, there and everywhere, you need to plan and the more you can treat the job hunt like a job in itself, the more likely you are to succeed.  Set yourself goals, diarise activities and review your progress.

1. Weekly plan:  Set yourself a workable plan. Monday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm or maybe give yourself an afternoon off as a reward for achieving a goal.

2. Get dressed for success:  If you dress the part, you feel the part, so make sure you’re up and ready at your set work area on a Monday morning, ready to go.

3. Break your day into structured activities:

– 2 hours – Applying for jobs, ensuring CV and covering letters are on point (more on that in parts 4 and 5)

– 1 hour – Researching the businesses you are applying to work with.  What are their strengths, position in their market, goals and vision? Review how you would fit and what skills and experience you could bring. Find out about the company culture, benefits and salary range, products and services and working environment – are these right for you?

– 2 hours – Networking on LinkedIn, connect, engage and remember it’s a SOCIAL platform, so be just that (more on this in part 3)!  Find online networking groups and forums that will help hone your job-seeking skills.

– 1 hour – Jobs skills, get as much help, advice, training, and information as you can that will help. Attend online webinars, live seminars, or workshops.

– 1 day a week or 2 afternoons, plan on meeting people, join networking groups in your area and meet up to get out of the house. Meet people for lunch or coffee who could help you with your job hunt or know connections that could help. Be open to advice, feedback and help. Oh, and always remember to pick up the tab!

4. Track everything you do: Over time, you may find you’re applying for tens of jobs and keeping track of the status of each of them is not going to be easy – so track it all!  It will help you also to work out and change your approach if you need to.  A simple tracker could include the following:

  • Company name
  • Contact details
  • Job post link/location
  • Date found
  • Date Applied
  • Follow up email – yes/no and date
  • Interview 1 – yes/no and date
  • Thank you note 1
  • Interview 2 – yes/no and date
  • Thank you note 2
  • Notes / Info
  • Status/Outcome of application

Create your own excel spreadsheet or word table to keep notes, or why not download our FREE Job Tracker Tool HERE.

5. Skills update:   Don’t tread water; keep moving forward. A period of unemployment may be the perfect time to update your skills, take that online course, get a certificate, learn new software, update that licence, anything that may help in your career.  It will look great to future employers that you used this time productively. Your hard work and commitment to lifelong learning will pay off!

6. Play the social networking game: Love it or hate it, social media is where it’s at!  And when it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn is the arena where you need to create a personal brand and show off your skills on the pitch. Network, cultivate relationships, like, comment and share appropriate content to gain visibility, attract attention and show those LinkedIn algorithms that you’re an active member of the community. You’ll gain prominence in people’s feeds. So, keep your page fresh, updated, relevant and professional. (more on  this in Part 3)

7. Follow up on everything!  After meetings, phone calls and interviews, always thank people for their time and remind them that you can assist with anything they feel appropriate. Not only is this simple manners, but it’s also not something that everyone does, and it will make you stand out from the crowd.

8. Stay positive:  It’s tough job hunting. Find things to keep you motivated, take time out, remember to exercise, meet friends and reward yourself for achieving daily/weekly goals.

9. Be camera-ready: With the growth in remote and flexible working and the number of organisations that are not ready to (or no longer want to) go back to a permanent office, conducting interviews via Zoom, Teams etc., is becoming the norm.  Check out our blog on ‘Making the best impression in a video interview’ for more hints and tips: Recruitment (  (More on this in part 6).

10. Toppest of Top Tips:  RE and Safehands Recruitment will help you!

We are a multisector recruiter who offers more jobs in more sectors, resulting in more options for you!  Being multisector enables us to be multiskilled, with a wider knowledge of various industries, skills, and knowledge sought after by a range of employers than specialist recruiters. We strongly feel there is simply no point in finding you a role that doesn’t fit your personality, skills and ambitions – so we try harder to get you your perfect role by taking a collaborative approach to recruitment.  After all, we’re a team working towards our shared goal with you.

Get in touch with us at: | 01242 896 022

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